Monday, March 10, 2008

Plutocracy/Phobia Split LP (Live)

On this split (Misanthropic Records, 1994), LA/OC kingpins, Phobia, scrap it out live with infamous Bay Area tokers, Plutocracy. Both bands have had a huge impact on the "extreme music" emerging from California over the last decade and a half, and play/played their own brands of grindcore and/or powerviolence. Phobia have been leveling cities for about 18 years now, and on this LP expel 4 blasts of "Harmony Corruption"-era Napalm Death-style grind. Considering that it was recorded on July 24, 1993 at The Butt-Cave in Santa Ana, California, the sound quality on their side definitely exceeded my expectations. A great early set, by a legendary band! On the flip, Plutocracy put their out-of-control stylings on display by way of 8 bruising tracks. These guys created their own genre of grindcore that could never possibly be copied. The vocals are nutty and all over the place, giving the tracks a chaotic feel. But the band is in total control of its "art." They play with precision and conviction, and conjure a well-balanced blend of politics, humor, and fury. I can't say for sure where and when Pluto's side was recorded, because the insert is vague. There is a funny, ambivalent write-up of Pluto's last show reprinted there, but I'm not sure if we're to believe that the tracks were recorded at this show, The Butt-Cave, or elsewhere. Either way, their set completely shreds! Pluto members went on to play in Spazz, No Less, Capitalist Casualties, etc. They released a bunch of early records collected on a CD, and reformed around 1999 to record the "Sniping Pigz" LP.